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Earth Currents VIII by arminmersmann Earth Currents VIII by arminmersmann
Pencil on WC paper, 7" x 18"

This series of works (earth current) acts as a buffer between major drawings, it get my mind in a new place and away from the thought process of my last drawing, Beyond the Pale.

This work itís more about natural abstraction then drawing nature in a botanical sense, although it is very carefully observed and rendered. An artist has the ability to engage someone with an image that they would normal not see and just walk by it, like this three inch piece of turf underfoot. Every day people walk by this insignificant scene, never noticing, never looking, at some point I did. This work is all about composition, the movement of the individual parts is what draws my interest. Subject matter is abundant if you can truly see the world around you.

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bluepainthorse Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
This is SO beautiful... the details just pull me in... And very well said!!! I often practice 'seeing' in this tradition, but rarely develop them into full-blown pieces- this is exquisite! :sun:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you so much
ChaosKatie Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This drawing has been featured here ->[link]

Thank you for joining #Graphite-Graphics!! :wave:
Maruom Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012   General Artist
OMG ! I adore your style .. really :):)
artistdan Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
Awesome! I love this composition. You draw like I hope to draw.
I understand totally how you lose yourself in your work. I do as well.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you so much for the good words
artistdan Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2010
DanNeamu Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2010
featured here : [link] and here : [link]
JoyfulColor Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009
You are amazing. I am just beginning pencil/charcoal work and I'm not all that good at it. But I know enough to know that this (and the rest of your stuff) ROCKS!
AxlVanDerNor Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009
The amazing technics....
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you, and you have some great work as well!

l--unbound--l Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
You are a master.
DrawingIt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009
Amazing detail-work, as always! :)
JamheadArt Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the descriptions you put to some of your work. I'd be happy enough just browsing the amazing images but you really indicate and clarify the ideas that go with them without a hint of pretension (lots of artists I have seen fail terribly at this).

I glanced he word cynical in a discussion above, I am cynical about myself here; I don't want to come across pretentious or sycophantic, but you truly are an inspiration! So glad I bumped into your work.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much Jamie!

Aprilart Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I love what you see in a three inch space, Armin, because I take the time to see those 3 inch spaces too. I become excited seeing the unobserved, and I love your series of it. Thank you for showing others what you take time to see yourself. Perhaps it will help instigate others to take the time to see these little 3 inch spaces on their own when out and about. :)

I also agree wholeheartedly what you said to Robert. It's a scary venture but so worth it!
CyrionB Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
Love the details and the cropping of the image. :)
Exotic-Lover1 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
Seem pretty detailed and the only areas I'm having trouble analyzing the technique you have used is the area being surrounded by 3 grass and one rock along with the one on the upper-right corner. I think you used the erasing technique after you stroke in order to achieve that part of the look and then you stroke with your pencil again, after that you shade within the similar amount of pressure, and finally you darken part of the area. That area all to the right top corner just stuns me to the point where it seems too hard to analyze the technique. You continue to amaze people allowing them to observe and get them to find the technique that works for them.
Rita-Ria Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Einfach unglaublich!
wie immer halt ;)
Joshua-P-Smith Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009  Professional General Artist
As a pencil artist myself, looking at your work continues to stun me. The amount of detail that can be seen in your work is unreal.

I have one 9x12 inch work I'm very proud of and have received a lot of good feedback on, the one shown on my profile page... It was one of my first drawings in which I had paid attention to every single detail, the skin texture, every strand of hair, etc... I can remember going through the process of creating, or replicating rather, those textures, shapes, and lines. It was a pretty long process, and when I finished I

And then I look at some of the drawings you make like this one, and it makes me wonder how it is even possible to do such work in any reasonable amount of time. This is incredibly complex when I try to imagine myself going through a process of drawing something like this, with as much fine textures that are shown, there's no shortcuts. Everything must be worked by hand, every detail.

A lot of times, the mechanics of your works are what amaze me, more so than the meaning behind the image itself. If nothing else I can appreciate the realism of a drawing and the time and patience required to reach the end result. But there's way more to it than that, there's always meaning, there's always implications, symbols... So I am a big fan of your work and hope to create works with this kind of quality one day, with my own expression.
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
The first comment listed at the top of the page when I posted these remarks was;

"The lack of color puts me off. It's morbid somehow."

How wonderful to come across that comment prior to responding to you with the usual, but heart-felt praise I intended to write here.

Even your work, which stands so far above the typical example to be found on this site, is subject to personal interpretation and taste.

I wish it was a bit easier to critique your work, Armin. If it were, I'd gladly provide you with serious, thoughtful critiques. The problem with doing so, for me, is, as we touched on on your last submission, is time.

In order to be able to fairly evaluate your work and go deeply enough into it to detect that which might be deserving of critique would require an investment of time far, far beyond what my commercial career has ever required from me. I am used to spending seconds, at most, looking at the work of even quite talented commercial artists, and being able to quickly spot the three or four relevent corrections that need to be made to strengthen the work and bring it to a state of completion.

Completion. a prime landmark in commercial work. Once the job requirements for message, content, and aesthetics have been met, the single most important factor in most commercial work is completion.

"Get it done as quickly as you can and still satisfy the requirements of the assignment."

The main priority is never aesthetics, or meaning, in it's purest form. Successful commercial artists are rewarded for speed and accuracy, not for their insight into the living world around them as reflected in their art.

This reality lies at the heart of the cynicism I mentioned is an unavoidable aspect of my work to date over the last twenty or twenty five years.

Is this something you can understand?

I try hard to not be an inherantly cynical man in my day to day life, Armin, but I cannot evade the reality that the way I have utilized my skills and talent in order to make a living and raise my kids has infected both my art and my view of the world around me in a jaded way. I am often able to limit the effect of this so that it does not adversely affect my relationships and experiences, but I must admit I am not always successful in doing this.

In any case, to relate this back to why I don't offer critiques on your work, the truth is I am simply not qualified to do so. I have the intelligence, and I have the artistic insight to do so, but, I lack the mental/emotional skill set that would allow me to dive deeeply enough into your work to see mistakes without getting lost or confused because of the time it would be required to do so.

My mind was trained in the exact opposite direction of what your work requires.

I write this lengthy commentary because I wanted to let you know something about myself.

I seem to be more or less retired now. I am, physically, doing fairly well, but not I am not, and may never be again, completely whole. At least, not whole enough to meet the basic physical requirements of most nine to five jobs. Just sitting and attending to my work at the computer for five or six hours, as I would have to at a job, puts me at the limits of what I can do physically. I can compensate for this at home by taking frequent breaks and even a nap, if required. It is exceedingly difficult to find someone who will employ you that will accomodate these requirements in an office environment.

So, since I no longer have to do commercial artwork for money, I am free to once again look forward to doing art that has no other purpose other than to satisfy my inner vision and need to create.

Frankly, I am scared to death, Armin.

I wonder if I can do this, and set aside the cynicsm that I have to admit was a part of the survival mechanism that allowed me to remain productive as a commercial artist far beyond the time when most give up, and move into other fields to earn a living. Just to be able, mentally and emotionally, to do it for almost 25 years required me to become cynical, towards bosses with an agenda that does not support creativity, and towards clients who mostly want to use your skills as surrogate tools by which they express their own creativity, or more accurateley; lack thereof.

I want to do art with the same passion and inspiration I had when I was a very young man and still believed in myself as a pure artist. I know, intellectually, that the experience cannot possibly be exactly the same; for I am no longer that person. But, I do hope to at least produce work which is not bound by my cynicsm.

Wish me luck, Armin, and forgive me for not being able to comment more deeply on your work than to gush, as so many other do here. Your work deserves accolades, and so I will not apologise for giving it them.

For your sake, though, I would critique your work, if I were able to to do so.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist

Cynicism to a point is a healthy emotion keeps you and track, forces you to ask questions and stops you from the dreaded status quo. Yet when it affects your own process in a negative way you’ve crossed the line into a creative abyss that’s hard to crawl out of, I’ve been there and it’s a perpetual state of stagnation. One can get lost in the negative the dogmatic cynicism so natural to the true artist, all dark and angst and edgy, damn I’m getting all excited. Yet after we pull back and take a look the world we need beauty not in a nostalgic, sentimental way (lots of that schlock out there) but in a conceptual, creative and “unique from the inside” sense. There is so much to express, so much to translate, I’m just a little pissed that I don’t have the million years to do all of it.

The commercial art field can kill the creative person I’ve seen it happen it almost happened to me, so I stopped all commission work, put on my “fuck you hat”, and drew what I wanted in the way I wanted. No gallery, art student, teacher or colleague made a dent in my pursuit, for the first time I called the shots good bad or indifferent I was my own critique and a hard critique at that, in the end I grew as an artist. As long as I continue to discover new and better ways of expressing myself it’s a journey that’s well worth it. Also I stopped listening to the pseudo-intellectual-wanna-be’s the ones that told me realism was dead, graphite isn’t a medium for real artists, even that two dimensional work is passé and to go out and do video art, build nest with pubic hair or do some other stupid shit that is a good substitute for a work ethic. Don’t get me wrong all “isms” are valid and there is great work created in all of them, but I firmly believe we have a natural artist language a unique way to express ourselves and to force an “ism” that not natural leads to derivative art at best and pure rubbish at worst.

You have an “opportunity” now to go for it and to find out what you can do as a fine artist, and looking at your work and reading your words, I have no doubt about your ability to excel, so I would say, soak in the bad fortune and come out the other side kicking major ass, its all up to you my friend.

Don’t mean to sound preachy here but I see in you a major creative human being and I must spout.

Darkmir Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Let's hope I take advantage of the opportunity, Armin. For, I know I will have no-one to blame but myself if I don't.
funcod Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009
the lack of color puts me off
it's morbid somehow
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist

Like black and white photography it leaves the color to the imagination of the viewer. Morbid… in the viewer’s eye, even the cruciform composition and it’s allusion to bones likely give a dark impression. But I don’t see reclamation as dark or morbid but a natural process of nature and unfortunately we are part of this cycle, not evil, not bad…. just, just

Thank you for your candor!

Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I love the softness of this piece, despite the seemingly hard subject matter. :)
asclaire Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
I promise you, I look, I notice, any moment... O how I notice :)
MjP-70 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
Amazing work!
dougstickney Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
It reminds me that there is beauty everywhere, we only need to stop and look. Great work.
broadstreetstudio Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
fantastic. Such a sobering reality quality
JonasOlsenWoodcraft Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hmm, mystical image. i feel chilled when im looking at it.
Creedysgirl Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009   Traditional Artist
Fantastic work!
Triluna Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
"Insignificant" nature is really your nature aye? The textures of the stone reminds me on a potato skin which you use also on portraits. I see that typical style back and I like that alot!
shorty1013 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
I feel like I could pick up a blade of grass, a pebble, or a twig from this work of art. Exquisite as always, man.
Y-2-J Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
Nimbus2005 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
Wow. Stunning, just stunning. The range of values is so delicate, yet so precise... Im in awe.
Evinfowler Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009

you're making the rest of us look bad. :)
Daniel-Storm Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
Well, you sure did see this three inches of world! It's a very interesting and engaging composition. I really love the clear use of value changes that you have here. And all the textures! Every part of this drawing is very easy to read! It's a beautiful piece of work! :clap:
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Submitted on
July 25, 2009
Image Size
209 KB


222 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/125 second
Focal Length
60 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 25, 2009, 6:52:50 PM